Open-air Prisons Present and Future -Wahidul Islam
That prison or jail is a confinement or place where criminals after trial are landed for correction is nothing new in this world. Open prisons are relatively new where prisoners, who do not pose threat to the public, enjoy some rights like socializing, working outside the prison premises and even keeping the key of his or her room in the prison. But an open-air prison is not similar to a traditional prison with convicted criminals but a big place or confined area where lakhs of innocent people live enjoying rights as limited as those inmates of prisons. The Myanmar, Israel, China, Australia, Eretria etc are some of the countries which have open-air prisons, often being exposed to media. In an increasingly polarized world India, USA, Thailand, Philippines, Russia are apparently heading towards certain ethnic group being ghettoized with the aim of creating open-air prisons. Before starting such a project the targeted people are kept clustered. Ghettoizing, according to Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, is to treat a particular group in society as if they are different from the others in a society as if their activities and interests are not important to other people particularly to the majority. In most cases such people are ethnic minorities, particularly Muslims and asylum-seekers.
The first open-air prison in the modern world is Gaza — an Israeli politico-military project. We are not sure about the academia or intellectual who first propounded the idea of open-air prison but one thing is sure that Israel as a state first implemented the project of ghettoizing of Palestinians. Probably idea of Israel partly built around the ghettoization, extermination, disenfranchising and of Palestinians. Not only that what project Israel is implementing successfully today is being replicated by the like-minded countries tomorrow. Particularly the countries which have shared commonalities and similarities toe the line of Israel when the question of handling minorities like the Muslim ethnic group comes to. The Myanmar, China, India, USA, Australia, Thailand, Philippines, Russia are those countries which have warm diplomatic, politico-military, socio-religious relationship with Israel.
Rohingya ethnic minority in Myanmar are being ghettoized since 1962. The fault line was drawn between the majority Buddhists and minority Rohingyas during the World War II— the former taking the side of Japanese forces and the latter supporting the British. Since then the trouble erupted with the extreme hatred and fear mongers like Ashin Virathu. On a wrong perception of being outnumbered by Rohingyas the terrorist Buddhists are mongering hate against Muslims who look like Bangladeshis or Indians. In the wake of diminishing the number of Buddhists their extremists monks, who themselves don’t marry and give birth to child, are waging war against civilians who marry and give birth to children. Then the question raises here ‘is marriage and birth of child illegal?’ If it is so, more than 99 percent of the people of the world are wrong by marrying in the eyes of over half a million male and female Buddhist monks. Even the lay followers of Buddha, who marry and thus, contribute to the scaling up of the number of Theravada Buddhists in Myanmar, should be held responsible but the common people are spared on the ground of layman. Whereas the Rohingyas are not only held responsible but also are being slain and traumatized, physically abused and deported to Bangladesh. Around nine lakh Rohingyas have been pushed in Bangladesh. Fifty percent of the women who fled genocide to Bangladesh are raped. A large number of people are children. Their belongings were looted, houses were burnt. Psycho-physically drained and exhausted Rohingyas are fleeing arson, ethnic cleansing, massacre, mass-deportation, extermination and intimidation from Myanmar army in collusion with Nobel Laureate Aung Sang Suu Kyi.
In China Xinjiang province is an open-air prison where communist hegemony doesn’t want to see Muslims possessing the Quran, keeping beard and saying prayers before the age of 50. Ghettoization model may be replicated in the name of security on some stage-managed ploys. In the process of repression Chinese communist officials are forcefully collect DNA of the Uighur ethnic minority, stay a Uighur homes to deter them from fasting and praying. Even the authorities in Xinjiang detain those who go for pilgrimage in Mecca and Medina. Beijing flooded the state with platoons of planets and mosque walls are pasted with posters announcing state attitude towards religion.
Curtailed freedom: Israel, China, Myanmar, India, Australia and US
If your name sounds Muslim you may not get a house to rent in Indian city Mumbai. It is a well-known but despised discourse in India. After the election the US president Donald Trump the freedom access of Muslims are curtailed in the country. The right is robbed off this ethnic group which is being repeatedly challenged in the US courts. Freedom is being limited in Xinjiang where ethnic Muslims are not free. Everything is under surveillance. In Nauru Australia has opened an open-air prison. Those who seek asylum are being detained here in Nauru, an island away from mainland Australia. The inmates of the detention centre have complained of torture and psycho-physical abuses.
Disenfranchising in Israel
The right to be a citizen is a birth right of human. So is franchising power or voting right. In the Negev Desert of Israel some Arab Bedouins live in from time immemorial. But secretly the Israeli authorities are de-bedouinizing the Negev Desert. In a secret move to steal from illiterate Negev desert they are not renewing their citizenship documents. Similar project is being implemented in Myanmar. The Marshal law-1982 stripped off the voting rights Rohingyas in Rakhine state of the country. Myanmar is one of the first countries to recognize Israel which has recently given 100 tanks to Myanmar in the building up to the crackdown on Rohingya minorities in North Arakan.
West’s agenda of divide, destroy and conquer set eyes on Thailand and the Philippines after Myanmar. Disenfranchising of Moro ethnic group in the Mindanao and minor ethnic group of Pattani, Yala etc region next to Malaysia may be victim of disenfranchising, right to land and citizenship in the coming future, of course citing stereotypes.
Possible Future Open-air Prisons
Though at present ethnic diversity is being shaken and the majority is taking the driving position, threatening the old fabric of societies accommodating ethnic minorities. Racist attacks are taking place in the US and the EU as well. Rightists, conservatives, far right political parties are coming to power in the western world shedding light on the upcoming change in the world. So the world is being increasingly polarized. So speculation is rife that Southern Thailand may be a future open-air prison. Mindanao of the Philippines is most prospective open-air prison. Indian Muslims are in risk of being ghettoized being people belonging to the same ethnicities cluster together. Indian hegemony, which has the warmest relation among the Asian nations, may be tempted to transfer and put those politico-military projects into action. The US, which has the warmest relation among the nations of the world, is slowly heading towards maligning Muslims by banning and restricting their entrance into the US.
Possible clustering of Muslim populations in India may lead to ghettoization India always looks for dividend not humanity. On the prospect of getting dividend from Bengalis they gave shelter, food, arms and training on top of all its soldiers to die at the hands of Pakistanis in 1971. Now they are drawing dividend even at the cost of Bangladeshis who have Chittagong port and bigger land along with a large people and a big market. But there is no such dividend from Rohingyas though they have Kyaukpyu port and smaller land along with small number of people and a similar market. So their benefit and dividend lie not in giving shelter but in some relief which can be used as ploy in their diplomatic war against Bangladesh.
Guinea Pig for Politico-military Theories
The world needs a rogue or apartheid state to implement those wicked or crooked politico-military theories regarding states as the pharmaceutical scientists need guinea pig to test the effectiveness of the newly invented medicine as the nuclear nations need vast tract of land or water to test their weapons. So the international community seemingly needs a rogue state to gauge the effective edge of newly invented theories and recently coined terms on a state. Before branding these sorts of brutal political theories you need implementation. Technology transfer depends upon the feedback and implementation reports from the grass-roots level state or states. If you need a kidney you need a donor to lose it. So an apartheid state on the planet is essential to check the newly crafted coercive models or political projects penned down by paid pundits and academicians. Israel is that sort of apartheid state licensed to implement all the crooked policies on the Palestinians before the idea is transmitted to other apartheid nations having certain ethnic groups.
From the present politico-military open-air prisons of Myanmar, Israel, China, Nauru of Australia people are fleeing. People don’t want to stay in prison. If the prison authorities are violent in that case people leave the place as soon as possible. They become refugees, expatriate workers, stateless, gypsy and asylum seekers. Even sometimes people of open-air prisons and other war-ravaged countries desperately seek residency at the expense of religious beliefs. n